When it comes to AR glasses and VR headsets, comfort is a crucial factor. Comparing the ergonomic design of Google Glass to the Quest 2, it's clear that one is more comfortable than the other. The upcoming Vision Pro from Apple is also expected to prioritize comfort based on the company's emphasis during its design process.
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, also shares concerns about XR headset comfort. While he is now involved in high-tech advancements for the US military, his insights are still valuable. He proposes the idea of using Newton meters as a metric to measure the comfort of XR headsets.
Newton meters, represented as N⋅m, are units of torque named after Isaac Newton. They quantify the torque resulting from a force of one newton applied perpendicularly to a one-meter-long moment arm. So, how does this relate to XR headsets and their comfort?
Let's consider the Quest 2 and the upcoming Quest 3 as an example. The Quest 3 is designed to protrude less from the wearer's face compared to its predecessor. This means there are fewer Newton meters involved, resulting in less strain on the neck. In other words, the Quest 3 would have a lower N⋅m value than the Quest 2, making it more comfortable to wear.
However, using Newton meters as a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure comfort has its limitations. It only indicates the amount of neck strain one can expect and may not provide a clear understanding for consumers who are unfamiliar with Newton meters. Other factors, such as the comfort of the strap and visor, as well as sweat-resistance, should also be considered.
While the idea of using Newton meters as a metric for XR headset comfort is promising, its success relies on manufacturers' willingness to adopt and market this new measurement in a consumer-friendly way. It is a step in the right direction, but more comprehensive metrics that encompass various comfort aspects may be needed in the future.
Sources: 1. Palmer Luckey's insights on measuring XR headset comfort
– XR: Extended Reality, a term that encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies.
– Newton meters: A unit of torque, denoted as N⋅m, used to quantify rotational force. It measures the torque resulting from a force of one newton applied perpendicularly to a one-meter-long moment arm.